Open Gamification Code of Ethics
Gamification is a powerful tool. Like any powerful tool, it can be used for great benefit and good as well as be harmful if used for unethical purposes. I am not a great believer in creating unenforceable agreements and codes. However, I feel that if such a thing is going to exist, it should be free to anyone who wants to sign up and free of catches.
Here is an article I wrote for XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, 2017 Ethics in Gamification
With that in mind, the following code has been proposed, based on the suggested code of ethics from Andrzej Marczewski in 2013. Written by the gamification community for the gamification community. The purpose is to provide designers a set of ground rules for how they act with clients and users.
If you wish to suggest changes, you can either email [email protected] or go straight to the open source root document here and make some edits for consideration.
If you wish to have your name added to the list of those who have agreed to this code, please use the Sign up form here.
The core of this code of ethics is to consider if the use of gamification will in some way cause harm to the end user.
A key question to ask is, "is gamification being used to manipulate users in a way that does not benefit them and put their needs at the core?" For instance, a gamified health app may use nudges to encourage a user to exercise more. This is in their best interest and has been installed and used voluntarily. However, an app that uses gamification techniques to manipulate children into buying addons or in-app currency has no benefit to the user and should be strongly discouraged.
A Gamification Code of Ethics
- Gamification designers should be honest with both users and clients.
- Clients should be given realistic expectations of what can be achieved with gamification.
- Gamification should not be used as a way to dishonestly gather information that a user would not freely give up under other circumstances.
- Gamification should take into consideration accepted regional social practices, personal or ethical boundaries and general human rights, and should not be used to manipulate people into breaking them.
- Gamification should not be used for illegal activities (as defined by the laws of the countries and locales for which its use is intended).
- Gamification should not be used to manipulate users, especially those most venerable such as the elderly or children, for commercial purposes.
- Gamification designers will not claim propriety of other’s published work.
- Encourage openness about the system to both users and clients, (within the limits of copyright, intellectual property and trade secrets), such as;
- What the aims of the system are
- What data the system will collect
- How the data collected is to be used
- Encourage free access to information.
- Never share personal data without the appropriate consent.
- Gamification practitioners should should always provide the best service and experience possible for every user and client.
- Gamification should not be used to make statements justifying violence, LGTBphobia, racism, abuse, misogyny or similar.
- Consider the impact and sustainability that projects and workshops may have on the environment.
For You To Use
Embed the Open Gamification Code of Ethics on your site
Badge for your website / blog
Copy and paste the following code into your website.
<a href="https://ethics.gamified.uk?ref=b400" target="_blank" title="Member of the Open Gamification Code of Ethics"><img src="https://ethics.gamified.uk/assets/ogce-badge-400.png" width="100%" alt="Member of the Open Gamification Code of Ethics"/></a>
<a href="https://ethics.gamified.uk?ref=b400" target="_blank" title="Member of the Open Gamification Code of Ethics"><img src="https://ethics.gamified.uk/assets/ogce-badge-2-400.png" width="100%" alt="Member of the Open Gamification Code of Ethics"/></a>
- Tae Wan Kim. (2015) Gamification Ethics: Exploitation and Manipulation.
- Shahri, A., Hosseini, M., Phalp, K., Taylor, J., and Ali, R. (2014). In Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing. Towards a Code of Ethics for Gamification at Enterprise, 234–245.
- Bara, F. E., Estrada, M. R. B., & Martín, M. M. (2002). La universidad como espacio de aprendizaje ético. Revista Iberoamericana de educación, (29), 17-44.
- Lindsay, G. (2009). Ética profesional y psicología. Papeles del psicólogo, 30(3), 184-194.
- Perales, E. B. (1995). Éticas de la información y deontologías del periodismo. Tecnos.
- Wells, W., Burnett, J., & Moriarty, S. (1996). Publicidad: principios y prácticas. Prentice-Hall Hispanoamericana.
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Signed By (87 signatures so far)
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Please be aware, I do not take any responsibility for the quality of work provided by the members listed here. If you have a complaint about them, please contact them directly. This is a voluntary Code of Ethics that has no legal obligations.
Your name, company name, and email address will all be displayed on the site and linked to you. You may receive emails related to the code of ethics - if you wish to be removed from that, you can just email back and ask!
Your information will not be sold to anyone or used for any advertising or profit.